Abasikponkge Joshua-Edu a 22-year old graduate of English language who has been disabled from birth talks about how she overcame low self-esteem and graduated
Abasikponkge is from Usu-Abak in Akwa Ibom State and a graduate of the Department of English, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
She said that it was not easy for her while growing up because she was different from the other children, she was introduced to God early because of her parents and decided to go to a boarding school after finishing elementary school.
When asked about her boarding school experience, she said;
When I got there, everyone – teachers and students alike – kept staring at me. I just wanted to disappear. At a point in school, I didn’t want to participate in any activity again. I was always reserved and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I felt I was too different to mingle with others.
But she was able to manoeuvre with the help of her friends but she would have loved to do her things on her own
Abasikponkge was able to rise above the disability because of the support of her family, she was given the best and she also said that when people made mock of her, her sister would go in search of the person and beat them,it was not like her family had much money but she was sent to the best schools.
Her advice to families living with people with disabilities is that the families should show the person lots of love so that the person can be able to boost their self-esteem, she also encouraged disabled people to look beyond their disabilities and get a good education or learn a trade so that they would not be beggars.
She said she battled depression and low self-esteem while she was in secondary school and had even told her father that after her secondary school education, she would not furthermore but then after she finished secondary school, she saw that her mates were getting admission and she applied to study law but she didn’t get admission but then that encouraged her to further her education then she applied for English Language and she was admitted.
She also talked about her experience at the University
” In my first year, lectures were in a three-storey building and I had to climb the staircase up. I tried to always go to my lecture hall on time”
Abasikponkge did not really give room for lecturers or other students to pity her, she did all she can do on her own, she said she had queued for four hours in school to submit an assignment in school.
She said that there is a physically challenged man in her area whom she draws inspiration from, the man makes shoes and he is married with kids, he is so good at what he does that people are always waiting for him to attend to them.
“I admire him a lot. I draw a lot of strength from him. He inspires me”, she said.
She is waiting for her call-up letter from the national youth service,
She stated that she has no fears about her future and that she knows that everything will turn out right, she would also like to travel out and see other places and people.